Bill Fretz

Bill Fretz began teaching himself jewelry his junior year in high school, followed by four years of jewelry and silversmithing training with Hans Christiansen at the School For American Craftsmen at R.I.T in Rochester New York. After graduating in 1969 with high honors, Bill was an instructor at The Cleveland Institute of Art under Fred Miller and John Paul Miller. It was the beginning of hammer and stake regrinding that would later lead to tool design.

Opening his first workshop in 1970 in St. Peters, Pa., Bill and his wife Marian, started a retail jewelry business. They moved to Kennebunkport, Maine in 1974, the same year both were in the World Silver Show in Mexico City. Recently, with three grants from the Maine Technology Institute, Bill first designed a set of miniature stakes for jewelers, followed by a line of hammers based on silversmithing scaled for jewelry.

The family tradition continues with their son, Jordan, who manufactures the hammer line in his workshop in Vietnam. Currently, Bill and Marian Fretz are designing their work in Bucksport, Maine